F652 Fall 2018 A Century of Defining the New Middle East
Wednesdays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 19–Nov. 7
Fairfax Lord of Life
Instructor: Johnnie Hicks
Countries carved out of the Ottoman Empire a century ago failed to reflect the identities of bloodline, place, and religion which had defined these people over millennia of time. More recently, foreign invasions, internal revolutions, and Arab Spring protests have led to separations and forced migrations from beloved homelands and ancient capital cities. By examining these and other factors, such as tribal identities, religious sites, and cultural traditions, this course will attempt to better understand the region’s rich diversity, as well as its challenging complexities. We will also consider recent proposals for creating new borders which are better aligned with the region’s earlier identities. During the course participants will be asked to follow certain news and developments in the region.
Johnnie Hicks is an OLLI member who has taught courses on world cultures and religions at Mason and OLLI. She holds an MA in counseling and human development from the University of Iowa and has graduate studies credit in family counseling from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. She has lived in Europe and the Middle East and has traveled widely, always curious to learn more about the world and its fascinating diversity of cultures and religions.